Bicol Kalahi-CIDDS volunteers honored in ‘Bayani Ka’ awards
By Connie B. Destura LEGAZPI CITY --- The Department of Social Welfare in Bicol (DSWD) recognized the “everyday heroes,” who have volunteered to realize the agency’s various community-driven development (CDD) projects called Kapit-Bisig Laban sa Kahirapan-Comprehensive and Integrated Delivery of Social Services (Kalahi-CIDSS), in many parts of the region. DSWD Regional Director Arnel Garcia disclosed 9 awardees were honored by the agency through its “Third Bayani Ka Awards” held in this city. “The awardees are the new generation of champions helping DSWD in its advocacy of making community-driven development or CDD a reality,” he said. He added that the awards were intended to acknowledge the “sacrifices, diligence and commitment” of the local, everyday heroes who have put the interests of their own communities before their own personal needs. The 9 awardees were selected from among 17 provincial nominations received by DSWD-Bicol for the Bayani Ka! Awards. They came from the provinces of Sorsogon, Camarines Norte and Catanduanes. Garcia said the awards featured three categories: “Bayan,” “Bayani” and “Bayanihan.” The “Bayan” category recognized the initiatives of local governments at the barangay (village) and municipality levels in supporting and integrating the implementation of CDD in their areas. On the other hand, the awardees in the “Bayani” category were selected along the “six thematic areas” of gender mainstreaming, environment protection, improved local governance, indigenous peoples’ welfare, peace promotion and person with disability or PWD. In the “Bayanihan” category, the “continued engagement of citizens groups in ensuring that CDD is maintained in their villages” was recognized. In Sorsogon, there were seven awardees: 2 in the Bayan category, 1 in Bayanihan and 4 in Bayani categories. The two awardees in the “Bayan” category were Barangay San Roque in Bulusan town and the town of Donsol,wherein both the village and municipality’s contributions to the implementation of the KALAHI-CIDDS projects were recognized. In the Bayanihan category, Pilar-Sorsogon Women’s Federation Inc. was recognized. In the Bayani category, the awardees were Romeo Z. Balderama Jr. of Irosin town (Peace); Edwin Fruto, also from Irosin town (PWD); Salvador Espenocilla of Gubat town (environment protection); and Mariflor D. Enorme of Juban town (gender). In Catanduanes, DSWD-Bicol honored its sole Bayani awardee, Pedro F. Cabrera of Panganiban town in the area of improved local governance. In Camarines Norte, Wendy Razo of Labo town was the sole Bayani awardee in the area of indigenous people’s welfare. Each first place awardee in the Bayani Ka Awards received PhP10,000. According to Garcia, the “Bayani Ka” awards, which was held last April 27 along with the conduct of a CDD Congress, was an opportunity to impart vital information and learning among the volunteers, 200 of whom from various parts of Bicol had attended the event. “This will help them promote, enrich and sustain the CDD technology that DSWD has been advocating since 2002,” he said. He added that Kalahi-CIDDS, which was first introduced in 2002, is now transitioning from being led by the DSWD to being under the aegis of local government units (LGUs). Garcia said prior to the CDD congress a series of provincial “learning exchange forums” were spearheaded “to cultivate and refine the knowledge of community stakeholders on Kalahi-CIDSS.” He said, in an earlier forum this month, that Kalahi-CIDDS has thus far covered 78 municipalities in the Bicol region through projects amounting to P1B. “It is a strategy in which both the communities and LGUs work together to choose, design and implement sub-projects that respond to the most pressing needs in the community,” he added.